Saturday, July 18, 2015

making housing happen

It's difficult for neglected neighborhoods to revitalize without addressing housing. Waterloo's Walnut Neighborhood, once an area of beautiful turn of the century homes, has seen blight and demolition and a lot of stress on the aging homes that remain standing.  For eight years now, a small group of us has been praying weekly for.....

1. physical, spiritual, and social transformation in the neighborhood.

2. that God would bring a developer with a business mind and a Jesus heart so that we might have revitalization in the neighborhood without harming or leaving out those with lesser income means. Gentrification brings eye appeal, it renews and brings economic turn around... but does it change the social fabric and the segregation patterns that exist?   When gentrification and justice and reconciliation are addressed together, there is hope for beautiful new creation at so many levels!

3. that there would be increased opportunity for affordable home ownership in the neighborhood.  More home ownership leads to more stabilized and flourishing neighborhoods.

4. that a group of strategic neighbors would form...both relocators and remainers...who would build community, be involved in good neighboring, and lift up the voices and the assets of the neighborhood...all in the name of Jesus who is the Reconciler of all things.   

Though we haven't found developers who have mixed-income or reconciliation on their minds, God has been faithful to make some housing happen.  Homeowners and landlords have been involved in slowly but surely fixing up houses over the last few years.  Over the past two years, we've seen several houses being sided and roofed in the neighborhood.  We're grateful for this trend, and we recognize God's faithfulness, timing, and mysterious ways in the midst of it.   There are a few houses and open lots available in the neighborhood right now for those whom God might be nudging!

The latest house in Walnut to get a new exterior.

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